How to Get Out of a Funk (5 Ways to Stop Being Depressed) (2023)

Have you ever been in a ragingly dangerous bad mood?

A slumpy, frumpy, dumpy funk?

This ain’t the good kind of funk that gives you a sick beat and great dance moves. Nope, I’m talking about the burnt-out, stressful funk that hits even the best of us on low days.

You know, when you just can’t snap out of it? Here’s how to stop being depressed:

How to Get Out of a Funk (5 Ways to Stop Being Depressed) (1)

A few weekends ago, I came home from a coffee meeting in a poopy mood. I just felt blah. I tried reading, making myself a bowl of delicious cereal, and watching some Netflix. Nothing. Nada Zilch. I couldn’t shake it.

(Video) How To Get Out Of A Funk | 5 Ways to Escape a Depressive Rut

It got me thinking… why do we have moods? I did some digging and discovered some fascinating science on how our brain and body is tied to our emotions. Specifically:

There is a science behind your moods.

I found this incredibly helpful, because if we understand our moods, we can know where they come from and how to fix them.

  • You’re not crazy! Feel like your moods are out of control? There is a chemical explanation.
  • You’re not alone. The way we feel moods and process emotions is universal, and we can study it to find patterns.
  • You are in control. It might feel like our emotions run wild inside of our brain and body, but when approached in a specific way they can be controlled.

Happy vs. Unhappy

Before I get into the science of moods, I do have to say that “bad’” moods aren’t bad. They might not be pleasant, but we can understand a lot about the Science of Happiness from our unhappiness. In the words of Dolly Parton:

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

From our research on the psychology of happiness, we know that people who better understand their dark side, or can explore their emotions, benefit in tremendous ways. So, let’s explore:

The Science of Moods

…and how to snap out of a funk! I want to explain the different chemicals that affect your bad mood and how to harness them:

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(Video) Daily Routine To Fight Off Depression

Serotonin: The feeling of calm

Sometimes bad moods and funks can happen when we feel listless, out of control, or overly emotional. This can come from being around a toxic person, or feeling overwhelmed with our schedule or work projects. Enter: serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps us feel balanced and contributes to our well-being or state of calm. Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin–including those related to mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, and social behavior. Yup, when your serotonin is out of whack, it feels like everything is out of whack. Some research suggests that an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to depression.

Serotonin Boost: One of the best ways to get your serotonin pumping naturally is the process of positive reminiscing. Simply reflecting on your past achievements or thinking about positive memories produces serotonin. Look through your photo albums on your phone or scroll through old Facebook pictures. At home, grab your journal and recall your happiest moments. You might notice after a few minutes your body desires a long, deep breath, and you begin feeling like “It’ll all be okay.” When I tried this, I was shocked at how fast I began feeling more in control and calm. That’s the serotonin working its magic!

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Dopamine: The feeling of pleasure.

After a long day at work or really tough meetings, I can feel drained. But mostly, I sometimes feel bored, understimulated, and blah. That “blah” mood is a lack of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we feel pleasure, get a reward, or receive a gift. It’s the chemical that makes you feel like it’s your birthday every day! What’s even more important is that dopamine helps us regulate our emotional responses. This is super important:

When we are in a bad mood, we often have trouble controlling our reactions.

This is where dopamine comes to the rescue! It is also the basis for hope. Dopamine engages our brain to spot potential rewards, and to take action to move toward them. In other words, dopamine is our biggest motivator for fighting bad moods. Research has found that dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson’s Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. This is a serious little chemical!

Dopamine Boost: There are lots of ways to create pleasure for your mind and body. My favorite PG one is creating a bucket list! I LOVE bucket lists, because they harness the best side of human behavior–hope, curiosity and pleasure. Check out our Ultimate Bucket List Guide, or if you already have one, dust it off and start planning how to complete your first item.

Can I just make a special note here… stop waiting! You have so many amazing things left to do in your life. Your time is NOW.

(Video) Lift Depression With These 3 Prescriptions- Without-Pills | Susan Heitler | TEDxWilmington

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Testosterone: The feeling of power

Testosterone is the hormone of power, strength and capability. For both men and women, testosterone can completely change the way you feel. Now, testosterone is a tricky one–too much and it can make you feel aggressive (and very horny). Too little, and you feel powerless, lethargic, and… limp (both physically and emotionally). Some crazy facts about testosterone:

  1. Men given testosterone lost belly fat.
  2. Stock traders get a testosterone spike on days when they make an above-average profit.
  3. When playing sports, a winner’s testosterone levels increase–and fans’ hormone levels also get a boost! In a small group of 21 men watching a Brazil versus Italy World Cup match, the Brazil fans’ testosterone levels increased after their team won, but the Italy fans’ testosterone levels fell.
  4. Males have longer right pointer fingers than women. This has been found even in other five-fingered creatures, such as rats. Scientists have found that this is correlated to fetal exposure to testosterone. The higher your testosterone level before birth, the lower your pointer-finger-to-ring-finger ratio.
How to Get Out of a Funk (5 Ways to Stop Being Depressed) (2)

Basically, I want to know…

How long is your finger?

Sounds dirty, doesn’t it? Now, now, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about moods here! Here’s a photo of my hand.For some reason, it feels weirdly intimate posting a picture of my hand. Oh well!

Special Note: Long-lasting funks that are affecting your sleep, appetite, or relationships might be more serious. If you think you might be experiencing depression, please seek help from a medical doctor. Here are some online depression resources for you as well. Remember, you don’t have to struggle alone.

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(Video) Overcoming Crippling Depression by Resetting My Brain

#4: Oxytocin: The feeling of love

Oxytocin is a little hormone nicknamed the ‘“cuddle hormone” because it makes us feel loved and connected. It plays a major role in childbirth and childcare, helping mothers and fathers feel connected (and, therefore, responsible for their babies). But it also affects an incredible amount of behavioral tendencies. Specifically, researcher Inga Neumann found that oxytocin changes “pro-social behaviors” and emotional responses for relaxation, trust between people, and psychological stability.

Ding, ding, ding!

Oxytocin is crucial to understanding our moods. Oxytocin primarily is produced and affected by the people around us. Interestingly, one study found that new lovers have higher oxytocin levels than single people for the first six months of their relationship. Oxytocin is high because our mind and body are working together to make a connection. This is why other people can change our moods so greatly—either flipping us into a happy state or spreading toxicity to our mental state.

Oxytocin Boost: The best way to tap into your oxytocin is by tapping into your support system. The moment you are in a bad mood, think about the person who can boost your oxytocin. Specifically, who’s the person who makes you laugh? Who’s the best listener? Call in the team! Not only are moods contagious (we teach this in our Happiness Course), but they also can produce that warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging in you!

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Endorphins: The feeling of excitement

Endorphins are released by our body naturally in response to pain and stress. Endorphins are crucial to quelling our anxiety and are our body’s natural way of fighting the blues. The more endorphins we have coursing through us, the less we suffer from pain, the easier we are able to modulate our appetite, and the better our immune system. Most importantly, with high endorphin levels, we suffer fewer negative effects from stress. If you are a runner or other athlete, you might be familiar with endorphins because they are pumped during and after a workout—making us feel like we are on a high or euphoric.

Hate exercise? No worries! Certain foods, such as chocolate and chili peppers, also cause a boost in endorphins. The release of endorphins upon ingestion of chocolate might explain why many people crave chocolate during times of stress.

Endorphin Boost: Move it! Yes, you can eat chocolate and chili peppers, but exercise has many other positive benefits. And you don’t have to hit the gym—dancing to your favorite music, going on a walk or throwing the frisbee all are great ways to get your blood and endorphins pumping.

(Video) 5 Signs Someone's Depression Calls for Inpatient Care

Here’s the Deal: We can’t prevent bad moods from happening, but we can tap into our natural response to stress and try to harness it. This post is the very tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to change and modify your moods. But it is a good start! Next time you are in a funk or bad mood, try one of the following:

  • Look through old pictures
  • Create or update your bucket list
  • Call your favorite friend
  • Get moving to your favorite tunes


How long does a funk last? ›

The symptoms are not due to a drug or medical condition. So if you are in a funk you may feel sad or down but typically you don't have physical symptoms of weight/appetite change, sleep change, and concentration changes. A funk doesn't typically last most of the day nearly every day for 2 weeks.

What are three strategies for coping with depression? ›

Tips for coping with depression
  • Stay in touch. Don't withdraw from life. ...
  • Be more active. Take up some form of exercise. ...
  • Face your fears. Don't avoid the things you find difficult. ...
  • Don't drink too much alcohol. For some people, alcohol can become a problem. ...
  • Try to eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Have a routine.
Jan 4, 2023

What can I do to be happy again? ›

14 Tips for Finding Happiness Again
  1. Consider therapy. ...
  2. Start or return to a hobby. ...
  3. Ditch (or time limit) your social media intake. ...
  4. Journal. ...
  5. Meditate. ...
  6. Spend time with happy people. ...
  7. Say goodbye to unhealthy people in your life. ...
  8. Do what you love.
Apr 26, 2022

How do you get yourself out of a mental slump? ›

Even if you are feeling low on energy and unmotivated, accomplishing just one goal at a time will help you to feel better.
  1. Acknowledge that You're in a Slump. ...
  2. Accept Your Feelings. ...
  3. Talk About It with Loved Ones. ...
  4. Focus on Moving on Rather than Seeking Pity. ...
  5. Try Meditation. ...
  6. Reorganize or Clean Up Your Living Space.
Mar 21, 2022

What to do when you're in a funk? ›

How to Get Out of a Funk
  1. Connect with Your Surroundings. The first step is to connect with your surroundings. ...
  2. Become one with the present moment. ...
  3. Get Moving. ...
  4. A Nutritious Diet. ...
  5. Quit Social Media. ...
  6. Seek Emotional Support. ...
  7. Show Gratitude. ...
  8. Clean Your Space.
Oct 6, 2022

How do you know you're in a funk? ›

What Does Being in A Funk Entail?
  • You feel sad for hours or days on end.
  • You don't want to do anything that you usually enjoy.
  • It's hard to engage with others.
  • You want to stay in comfy clothes like pajamas or sweats.
  • Watching tv or otherwise entertaining yourself passively feels like the only thing you're up for.
Dec 14, 2022

Why am I always in a bad mood? ›

Every one of us can be irritable at times and have irritable moods that may last for hours or even a few days. But when periods of irritability last for months on end and characterize a person's mood more often than not, it could be associated with an underlying disorder such as clinical depression, anxiety or ADHD.

What are 2 characteristics of funk? ›

What Is Funk Music? Funk music is a style of dance music that evolved from the Black R&B, soul, and jazz scenes in the mid-1960s. Funk music is characterized by funky, syncopated bass lines and steady, infectious drum grooves, which drove it to become one of the most popular genres in the 1970s and '80s.

What is the fastest way to treat depression? ›

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.

What are 5 good coping strategies? ›

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. ...
  • Take care of yourself. ...
  • Take care of your body. ...
  • Make time to unwind. ...
  • Talk to others. ...
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.

Why can't I just be happy? ›

Not being able to be happy for a prolonged period of time can be a concern. Sometimes we are unhappy because of underlying substance abuse, mental health, or mental illness issues. If you are feeling this way, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-8255.

What to do when all your happiness is gone? ›

8 Techniques For Recovering Happiness When Life Gets Tough
  1. Recognize if you ask depressing questions, you will get depressing answers! ...
  2. Know that feeling means you're dealing means you're healing. ...
  3. Turn off the tube. ...
  4. Step outside yourself. ...
  5. Get a 'mental rental. ...
  6. Keep perspective. ...
  7. Change your mood with food. ...
  8. Let go.
Feb 21, 2010

How do I feel positive about myself? ›

3. Accept your thoughts
  1. Take care of yourself. Follow good health guidelines. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. ...
  2. Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to do. ...
  3. Spend time with people who make you happy. Don't waste time on people who don't treat you well.
Jul 6, 2022

What is mental collapse like? ›

feel isolated — disinterested in the company of family and friends, or withdrawing from usual daily activities. feel overwhelmed — unable to concentrate or make decisions. be moody — feeling low or depression; feeling burnt out; emotional outbursts of uncontrollable anger, fear, helplessness or crying.

What makes a funk beat? ›

Many, but not all, funk grooves are distinguished by three main traits: the use of ghost notes and multiple layers of dynamics, syncopated patterns on the bass drum, and displacing the backbeat on the snare drum.

How do you wake up from a funk? ›

We've all had days where we wake up in a funk.

Why is it called funk? ›

According to one source, New Orleans-born drummer Earl Palmer "was the first to use the word 'funky' to explain to other musicians that their music should be made more syncopated and danceable." The style later evolved into a rather hard-driving, insistent rhythm, implying a more carnal quality.

What are the 3 levels of depression? ›

You may be diagnosed with mild, moderate or severe depression. Your mental health professional may diagnose you with depression if these symptoms: happen most days.

Can you help me fight depression? ›

Spend time in nature. Spending time in nature can have a powerful influence on a person's mood. Research suggests that walks in nature may improve depressive symptoms in people with clinical depression. Time in natural spaces may improve mood and cognition, and lower the risk of mental health disorders.

Is there anyway to get over depression? ›

Being depressed can make you feel helpless. You're not. Along with therapy and sometimes medication, there's a lot you can do on your own to fight back. Changing your behavior -- your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking -- are all natural depression treatments.

What is an example of funk? ›

Funk music's usage of syncopation is driven by the guitar and bass lines in the band. These are the musical notes providing a rhythm that inspires dance. An example of a song with this type of syncopation is ''Papa's Got a Brand New Bag,'' which was performed by James Brown and his band.

What do you call a funk? ›

1. : music that combines elements of rhythm and blues and soul music and that is characterized by a percussive vocal style, static harmonies, and a strong bass line with heavy downbeats. : the quality or state of being funky.

What does feeling in a funk mean? ›

to be very unhappy and without hope: He's been in a real funk since she left him.

Can depression change your face? ›

Long-term depression has disastrous effects on skin, because the chemicals associated with the condition can prevent your body from repairing inflammation in cells. "These hormones affect sleep, which will show on our faces in the form of baggy, puffy eyes and a dull or lifeless complexion," says Dr. Wechsler.

How can I change my mood to happy? ›

Feeling down? There are a number of simple things that you can do to lift your mood and feel happier.
15 small things you can do every day to improve your mood
  1. Wake up earlier. ...
  2. Make a friend smile. ...
  3. Have a quick tidy up. ...
  4. Write a diary entry. ...
  5. Smile at the first stranger you see. ...
  6. Take a walk.
Apr 20, 2020

Who is the king of funk? ›

George Clinton's name is synonymous with funk. The mastermind behind the supergroup Parliament-Funkadelic (now known as the P-Funk All Stars), Clinton released 19 albums from 1970 and 1981 that defined funk and kickstarted the Afrofuturist movement.

Who is the father of funk? ›

George Clinton and his band, Parliament-Funkadelic, have recorded some of the best party songs of all time. And their outrageous stage shows have been driving concert audiences wild since the 1960's.

What are 4 characteristics of funk? ›

As both its own genre and as an influence on other styles that have come later, funk has at least four identifying characteristics: syncopation, strong downbeats followed by a 16th note groove, seventh chord variants, and grooves driven by the bass guitar.

What is the first step in treating depression? ›

The first step in treating clinical depression is recognizing that you are depressed. The second step is seeking help. These two steps may in fact be the hardest part of the entire treatment process.

What are the 6 anxiety reducing tips? ›

6 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety
  • If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, know that you are not alone. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S., according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. ...
  • Eat a Nutritious Diet. ...
  • Get Moving. ...
  • Practice Positive Self-Talk. ...
  • Get More Sleep. ...
  • Distract Yourself.
Sep 26, 2017

What do people with depression tend to do? ›

Instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. They're also more likely to experience symptoms such as anger, aggression, reckless behavior, and substance abuse.

What vitamin is a natural antidepressant? ›

Vitamin B-3 and Vitamin B-9 can help people with depression because B vitamins help the brain manage moods. Vitamin D, melatonin and St. John's Wort are recommended for seasonal depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin C may also help with depression.

What helps depression instead of medication? ›

Alternatives - Antidepressants
  • Talking therapies. Cognitive behavioural therapy. ...
  • Exercise. Research suggests that regular exercise may be a more effective treatment for mild depression than antidepressants. ...
  • Self-help groups. Talking through your feelings can be helpful. ...
  • Lithium. ...
  • Electric shock treatment.

How long does it take to cure depression? ›

Each person's recovery is different. Some recover in a few weeks or months. But for others, depression is a long-term illness. In about 20% to 30% of people who have an episode of depression, the symptoms don't entirely go away.

What are 10 coping skills? ›

10 Ways to Cope with Chronic Stress
  • Re-balance Work and Home.
  • Build in Regular Exercise.
  • Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants.
  • Connect with Supportive People.
  • Carve out Hobby Time.
  • Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga.
  • Sleep Enough.
  • Bond with Your Pet.

What are the three A's of coping? ›

When your stress level exceeds your ability to cope, you need to restore the balance by reducing the stressors or increasing your ability to cope or both. Try using one of the four A's: avoid, alter, accept or adapt.

What does it mean to be stuck in a funk? ›

to be very unhappy and without hope: He's been in a real funk since she left him.

Why do I find it hard to get out of a bad mood? ›

Not understanding the cause of a bad mood can make it more difficult to overcome. Common causes of bad moods include guilt, small rejections, outstanding tasks, and brooding. Other causes can include feeling disconnected, fear of failure, hunger, and exhaustion.

What is mentally stuck? ›

People feel stuck not only due to symptoms impacting their ability to implement change, but also due to a lack of processing past traumas or wounds, not having awareness into why things are the way they are, struggles with motivation, over-thinking, low confidence and self-worth, fear, outgrowing your current situation ...

How can I make myself less unpleasant? ›

3 science-backed tricks to pull yourself out of a bad mood—in 5 minutes or less
  1. Take a walk in nature. Never underestimate the power of nature and physical activity combined. ...
  2. Meditate. ...
  3. Lend a hand.
Apr 24, 2019

What's a blue funk? ›

1. In a state of panic or terror. For example, Just because the bride's mother is late, you needn't get in a blue funk. This term originated in the mid-1700s as in a funk, the adjective blue, meaning “affected with fear or anxiety,” being added a century later.

How can I uplift my mood? ›

Have a healthy lifestyle
  1. Limit your alcohol intake. When times are hard, it's tempting to drink alcohol because it "numbs" painful feelings. ...
  2. Choose a well-balanced diet. Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger. ...
  3. Do some exercise. ...
  4. Get enough sleep.

Why is my mood so negative? ›

Negative mood is usually the result of irrational thinking about people or events. This could mean focusing on the negative and not seeing the positive in your life and work. You may see situations as problems rather than as challenges. Another example of irrational thinking is overgeneralization.


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